A tractor trailer crash shut down eastbound Georgia I-20 recently as the vehicle ended up on its side over several lanes of traffic. Details on the cause of the crash are not yet available, but the metro Atlanta area is unfortunately all too familiar with similar truck crashes. When large trucks crash, they can cause major issues for the traffic around them, whether or not other vehicles are involved. For example, in a recent truck accident in the east, two people lost their lives when the wheels of an oncoming truck flew off and hit their oncoming vehicle. Another similar crash killed a motorcyclist in Iowa last month when a truck wheel came loose.
There are many other circumstances in which debris falling off or flying off a truck can cause injury or death, including when cargo falls off or out of the vehicle. Flying truck debris can indeed cause serious injury or death on our roadways and only a few years ago, a child was killed when a truck’s transmission parts flew off. Under federal regulations, commercial truck drivers are required to perform inspections on their trucks, but parts or debris-related accidents can happen and are especially dangerous at high rates of speed with heavy vehicles. Despite this, officials say that a flying truck wheel is actually not a common occurrence and this specific hazard is not tracked by federal agencies that collect crash statistics. We do know one general piece of information about these hazards. Although accidents involving tractor trailer wheels flying off are actually a very low percentage of overall truck crashes, they can prove quite dangerous.
Some readers might recall the tragic accident last year that occurred on I-85 in which a mom driving her teen was killed by a truck’s wheel. In that case, one of the truck’s tires flew off and landed on her vehicle’s roof and windshield. When parts or debris fly off a truck at a high rate of speed, that material becomes more dangerous due to the velocity of the object and the possibility that it will do damage to anything that it comes in contact with, such as another vehicle. That is what happened in the tragedy on I-85.
When injuries result to others on the road from flying truck debris, there are many issues that must be resolved regarding who might be responsible for those injuries and why. For example, to determine liability for such an accident, it is often important to review the trucking company’s maintenance records and inspections for that particular vehicle, the driver’s road inspections of the vehicle, the tire manufacturer’s history with the type of tire involved and whether other fly-offs have occurred, the maintenance record for parts that hold the tire on the truck (such as lug nuts), the integrity of the wheel structure of the particular truck involved and many other issues that can be reviewed and investigated.
In the event of injury from a truck accident, selecting an experienced legal team to properly investigate the crash and fight for victim’s rights is key. At Scholle Law, we have the highest ratings for our legal expertise and ethics and we represent each and every client with tenacity and compassion. Please contact us for a complimentary evaluation of your truck accident. We are here to guide you and your family through the process of recovery.